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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Jan 17, 2013 7:55am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Aaron Swartz r.i.p.

r.i.p. Aaron Swartz (1986 - 2013). He committed suicide by hanging himself last week. This is a tragic loss for planet Earth and a huge step backward for all of us and The Archive regarding Universal access to all knowledge. I apologize for not posting about this until now.
One year ago today, on Jan 17, 2012, Jeff Kaplan announced on The Archive, 12 Hours Dark: Internet Archive vs. Censorship

The Internet Archive believes that it is critical to protest and raise awareness of pending legislation in the United States: House Bill 3261, The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and S.968, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). is going dark from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm PDT on Wednesday January 18 (14:00 – 02:00 GMT) to drive a message to Washington. We need your help to do this.

Legislation such as this directly affects libraries (pdf) such as the Internet Archive, which collects, preserves, and offers access to cultural materials. Furthermore, these laws can negatively affect the ecosystem of web publishing that led to the emergence of the Internet Archive.

These bills would encourage the development of blacklists to censor sites with little recourse or due process. The Internet Archive is already blacklisted in China—let’s prevent the United States from establishing its own blacklist system.

For United States residents, please take action.

For non-US residents: Sorry for dragging you into this, and if you are willing, sign a petition to the State Department to express your concern.

–Internet Archive


Aaron Swartz is the founder of Demand Progress, which launched the campaign against the Internet censorship bills (SOPA/PIPA) and now has over a million members.

excerpts reported by John Schwartz, published on Jan 12, 2013

Aaron Swartz, a wizardly programmer who as a teenager helped develop code that delivered ever-changing Web content to users and who later became a steadfast crusader to make that information freely available, was found dead on Friday, Jan 11 in his New York apartment.

At 14, Mr. Swartz helped create RSS, the nearly ubiquitous tool that allows users to subscribe to online information. He later became an Internet folk hero, pushing to make many Web files free and open to the public. But in July 2011, he was indicted on federal charges of gaining illegal access to JSTOR, a subscription-only service for distributing scientific and literary journals, and downloading 4.8 million articles and documents, nearly the entire library.

Charges in the case, including wire fraud and computer fraud, were pending at the time of Mr. Swartz’s death, carrying potential penalties of up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

Aaron Swartz’s Partner, Expert Witness Say Prosecutors Unfairly Targeted Dead Activist

Outrage is growing over the U.S. Justice Department’s prosecution of the 26-year-old who committed suicide last week just weeks before he was to go on trial. Pioneering computer programmer and cyber activist Aaron Swartz was facing up to 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted for using computers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to download millions of academic articles provided by the nonprofit research service JSTOR. As the chief prosecutor Carmen Ortiz defends her actions, we speak to Swartz’s partner, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, and computer security consultant Alex Stamos, who would have been the chief expert witness at Swartz’s trial. We invited representatives from the U.S. Attorneys office and MIT to join us, but they declined.

Aaron Swartz death by government Googled for you

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Jan 17, 2013 10:19am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Aaron Swartz r.i.p. - demand justice




We are deeply saddened by the passing of Demand Progress’s Aaron Swartz. Friends and family have issued a statement and created a memorial page, here.

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Poster: Jeff Kaplan Date: Jan 17, 2013 11:16am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Aaron Swartz r.i.p.

aaron worked at the Internet Archive for a time. there is going to be a memorial for him here next week:

that's a photo i shot of him when he was visiting for our Books in Browsers 2011 conference. a huge loss and real tragedy.

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Feb 16, 2013 6:44am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Aaron Swartz r.i.p.

News from the Internet Archive - No. 7, 15 February 2013:

excerpts from Brewster's Report

Working at the Internet Archive, Aaron Swartz was the architect and first coder of, a site to open the world of books to the Internet generation. As a user of the site, he helped put public domain books that had been locked up on the site.

As a volunteer, he helped make the RECAP system to offer free public access to public domain government court documents. He took the bold step of seeding this system by going to a public library to download the public domain and then uploaded the documents to the Internet Archive—this got him in trouble with the FBI. Now many millions of public domain documents have been used by over six million people for free, including researchers that could never have afforded the high fees to gain access.

Aaron was steadfast in his dedication to building a better and open world. Selfless. Willing to cause change. He is among the best spirits of the Internet generation. I am crushed by his loss, but will continue to be enlightened by his work and dedication.

The Archive held a moving memorial service for Aaron at the Archive on January 24; he’ll be missed.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Feb 16, 2013 7:07am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Aaron Swartz r.i.p.

I was just so sadly informed. RIP Aaron.